Agronomics has invested $3.5 million in the seed round of Liberation Labs, a company working to commercialise precision fermentation on a large scale.
The venture capital firm previously invested $3.5 million in the funding round’s first tranche in October, meaning it has now contributed a total of $7 million to the $20 million raise. Additionally, Agronomics made a $627,000 investment as part of Liberation’s previous funding round in June.
Precision fermentation manufacturing facilities
There is currently a bottleneck in the food fermentation industry, caused by a lack of suitable production plants. As Liberation CEO Mark Warner told Elysabeth Alfano on The Plantbased Business Hour, many of the sites currently available are actually intended for the pharmaceutical industry.
The company is working to change that by building a global network of purpose-built facilities. Worldwide, a few others are also attempting to solve the issue of limited fermentation capacity, including ScaleUp Bio in Singapore and Planetary in Switzerland.
Liberation Labs plans to use the seed funding to select production sites, complete pre-construction engineering, order equipment, and expand its team. The company will also work to contract fermentation capacity for its first facility, with the aim of an operational launch in 2024.
“This further investment will support Liberation Labs in delivering precision fermentation and becoming a global leader in the alternative protein production space. It is hugely exciting for us to be involved with a leading precision fermentation company that was formed to address the ever-widening gap in fermentation capacity,” said Jim Mellon, co-founder and executive director of Agronomics. “Liberation Labs is developing state-of-the-art purpose-built fermentation infrastructure which will replace the existing fermentation capacity being used today which was built for other purposes and does not fit the need of most precision fermentation proteins. We look forward to following Liberation Labs’ progress in the years ahead, as they approach their operational launch in 2024.”